Shaping Managerial Actors’ Sustainability Frames: An Exploration of the Role of Socio-Cognitive Factors in Driving Sustainable Development in and Beyond Organizations

Leonie Paul’s PhD research focuses on the micro-foundations of sustainable development within and beyond organizations, specifically exploring the role of managerial cognition in driving both inner and outer transformations. She aims to answer the question: How might we shape individuals’ cognitive frames to facilitate sustainability transformations within and beyond organisations? To address this, Leonie follows participants in a global leadership program designed to support leaders from various sectors in implementing transformative projects. Her qualitative research methods include interviews incorporating cognitive exercises, observations, and focus group discussions.

Preliminary findings suggest that certain cognitive frame characteristics can significantly support the implementation of sustainability initiatives. Moreover, open spaces where individuals can exchange ideas and engage authentically are crucial in fostering these cognitive frames. By emphasising the importance of inner transformations among organisational leaders, Leonie’s research contributes to the broader field of sustainable development. It underscores the notion that organisations are fundamentally composed of individuals whose decisions and actions drive change, highlighting the necessity of inner transformations to achieve sustainable outer transformations.





Leonie Paul

Research Host

LUT University

PhD awarding institution/s

LUT University (LUT) & RMIT University


Lappeenranta (Finland)


RMIT and many of the REDI partners are HSR4R certified

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101034328.

Results reflect the author’s view only. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains

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